Flats demolition could trigger regeneration of Fife shopping centre

Flats demolition could kick start an ambitious regeneration plan.
Flats demolition could kick start an ambitious regeneration plan.

A block of flats above a run down Glenrothes shopping centre could be demolished as part of an ambitious bid to breathe new life into the west of the town.

That’s one of three options to on the table for the dilapidated Glenwood Centre when the public meet this evening (Wednesday) to discuss the findings of the Golden Glenrothes charrette.

Partial demolition or refurbishment are also to be considered.

The charrette was designed to create a shared vision for the Glenwood Centre and the surrounding communities which will feed into a regeneration action plan for the western area of Glenrothes.

“Politicians have enough opportunity to speak and give their opinions, here, it was the public putting their ideas, aspirations and long-term wants for Glenwood into in a tangible and realistic design plan that can be taken forward,” said Cllr Altany Craik.

“The public have said overwhelmingly that they would want to see the flats go and we have to take that and work that into a design and a plan to redevelop the centre.

Former Glenrothes councillor Bill Brown said in March that Fife Council had not ruled out a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) – an option that would cost an estimated £2 million.

But with many of the flats above the centre being in private ownership, and the added complexities of a centre in liquidation, a CPO is not likely to be achieved easily.

“This is going to take time, the bulldozers won’t move in tomorrow, but with a plan that has been publicly, not politically, lead, it will be easier,” said Cllr Craik.

And he is confident that the commercial and social benefits of redevelopment, if the legal difficulties of securing the centre and the funding can be achieved, will massively outweigh the effort to bring it to fruition.

“We have an exciting opportunity, but we must get it right,” he said.

“Like most things it will mainly come down to money but we have a capital plan for town centres which is reviewed every two years, there’s help from central government for the right sort of project, and numerous other funding outlets.

“It’s up to us to drive that forward. I feel the new political climate within Fife Council will enable that and it’s up to us to see how we can now support in order to develop.”

This evening’s meeting starts at 6pm at Glenwood library and all are welcome to attend.